Waterproofing and Envelope Design

Waterproofing is the combination of materials or systems tyhat prevents water instrusion into structural elements of a building or i’ts finished spaces. Basic waterproofing and envelope design incoporates three steps to ensure a watertight environmentally sound interior:

1 understanding water sources likely to  be encountered.

2 Designing systems to prevents leakage from this sources

3 Finalixing the design by properly detailing each individual envelope component into adjacent.


Water Sources

Water likely to penetrate building envelopes is most commonly from
rainwater on above-grade components and groundwater intIusion below-
grade. Other sources also should be considered as appropriate, such as
melting snow, overspray from cooling towers, landscaping sprinklers, and
redirected water from such sources as downspouts and gutters.

The presence of any of these water sources alone, though, will not cause
leakage; for leakage to occur, three conditions must be present First,
water in any of its forms must be present Second, the mter must be
moved along by some type of force, including wind and gravity for above-

grade envelope components and hydrostatic pressure or capillary action
for below-grade componentsl Finally and most important, there must be a
breach (hole, break, or some type of opening) in the envelope to facilitate
the entry of mter into the protected spaces.


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